Warning: Rant Ahead.
Most of you will not have a clue as to what I am talking about, nor will you care, but I felt it was a post I wanted in my archives.
As a black person, I can listen to any genre of music, and I mean any. I love Barbra Streisand, Maria Callas, Take That, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, Don Williams, Scissor Sisters, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Snow Patrol, Otis Redding, Fifty Cent, Dolly Parton (Oh how I love thee Dolly), Celine Dion, Coldplay, Whitney, The Arctic Monkeys, Mariah, Doris Day, Bob Marley, Shania Twain, Bon Jovi, Travis, Jim Reeves, Madonna, Coldplay, and the list goes on.
Why? Because all of the above artists are/were musicians, and I love music. Of course I have my favourite genres, those artists whose albums I will always buy, because I love their work so much, but I can literally listen to anything.
I pride myself on my slightly eclectic taste in music, because I think it’s healthy to be able to appreciate different music genres.
Now I can listen to Jay-Z, but I’ve never really been a fan of his music, with the exception of a few of his collaborations. When I heard that he’d been asked to headline at Glastonbury this year, my first thought was, Jesus, he’s brave.
Because Glastonbury is traditionally a rock festival, usually attended by a mostly-white audience.
In the past, the festival has boasted acts such as, The Arctic Monkeys, Chemical Brothers, Paul McCartney, Oasis, Rod Stewart, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay etc, and nary a rapper amongst them. This year however, Michael Eavis, the show’s producer, and owner of the farm that the festival takes place on, decided to take a risk and invite Jay-Z. Well, there was such an outcry that one would have thought that he’d just invited Robert Mugabe to take part in the festivities.
Basically, the predominantly white attendees complained that they didn’t want a rapper/hip-hop artist infiltrating their traditionally whiter than white festival. Lots of people swore that if he was kept on as the main act, they would not be attending the festival this year. Ticket sales were slow, and only just sold out at the last minute. Noel Gallagher, the song-writing half of the band, Oasis, came out and denounced the decision to include Jay Z, saying that hip-hop had no place at Glastonbury.
Anyway, after all the controversy and the hulabaloo, I tuned in to watch Jay-Z’s performance last night at Glasto.
I knew he was going to have a good night when he came on stage miming to Oasis’ mega hit, Wonderwall. The crowd really appreciated this and sang along with him. He then segued into 99 Problems, and his performance truly began. He cleverly worked the crowd, and gave the performance possibly of his life. Just the kind of big fuck-you that Noel Gallagher and his small-minded posse deserved.
Music is music is music, and whether you’d rather listen to Wonderwall or 99 Problems, is just a matter of personal taste. No genre should be excluded in a festival officially entitled, Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.
‘Performing arts’ doesn’t mean, only white, guitar-based rock bands allowed.